Brit West's Reviews > Speak

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
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's review
Oct 18, 2011

it was amazing
Read in October, 2011

Speak is about Melinda Sordino’s first year of high school after experiencing a traumatic event at the end of the summer break party. Melinda has been ostracized by her friends and peers because “nobody really wants to hear what [she] has to say”, thus she stops trying to communicate with those around her, and tries to forget the events that took place that night. In her efforts to forget, she is faced with the reality that this is not something that she can just forget and move on from, she must realize that she is not at fault, and that she must, in fact, speak.

I could not put this book down, it is absolutely superb. I found the character of Melinda refreshing. I have read “darker” books before, ones that illustrate and discuss heavy topics, and the characters are always rightfully solemn, whereas Melinda, through her depression and the ruins of what once was her life, remains even the smallest piece of what she used to be. The book is filled with cynical and sarcastic remarks, witty analogies and dry humor, yet it is also filled with the heavy subject of rape. I feel Laurie Halse Anderson very tastefully depicted the events and experiences that this character went through and helps the reader find hope for them, as well as hope for Melinda. There is so much symbolism and such richness in this book. I really feel I connected with Melinda, even though I have never experienced what she had to endure.

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